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‘Closed’ Church To Hold Mass For First Time In 3 Years

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (AP) — A Roman Catholic church in Chicopee is scheduled to offer Mass this weekend for the first time in three years.

The first of a weekly Mass at St. Patrick will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The diocese closed St. Patrick in 2009 and merged it with Holy Name of Jesus Parish.

Parishioners appealed, and while a Vatican court upheld the Springfield Diocese’s decision to close the parish, the court determined the diocese could not secularize and sell the church building.

The diocese stressed that the decision does not mean that St. Patrick would re-open as a distinct parish.

Masses will be held Saturdays except on Holy Days and Easter weekend. Other sacraments, including funerals, weddings and baptisms, may take place at St. Patrick with special permission.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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